Fiction Author Offers A Fresh New Twist On The Gnostics
Over the years, there have been many fine offerings on the subject of Gnosis (from Greek, ‘seeking to know’) given to us by scholars who have devoted their careers to translating such ancient texts as the Dead Sea Scrolls as well as ‘gnostic gospels’ found at Nag Hammadi in Egypt. Both those collections were discovered during the mid 1940’s and they have been dated to the earliest centuries of our Common Era (CE).
Since their discovery, these texts have totally revolutionized our understanding of early Christianity and the Roman religious world and they continue to do so even now. Rather than confirming the official story we’ve been told by the New Testament gospels, these gnostic treatises show us a far different version of events. The gnostic gospels according to Mary, Judas, and Thomas are among the best examples available. Needless to say these competing codices contradicted what the first century church fathers said and thus they were suppressed. Hence the reason for hiding them in the first place.
Not much has changed two thousand years later. The initial excitement expressed by some Christians soon died down after translations started being released to the public. They have been quietly swept under the carpet and conveniently forgotten about for the most part. Gnosticism is still considered a bad word inside churches and condemnations of heresy by the second century Bishop Irenaeus are echoed to this very day.
Enter Obsidian Eagle, an anonymous author who enjoys writing in something of an archaic style. His antipoetic blog is known as Obsidian Eagle`s Blasphemous Bazaar. His sophomore book release (following The Soma Tantra: A Cosmic Tragedy) is called A Codex For Gnostics: A Cosmic Comedy. And to be completely honest – it is a literary DOOZY!
From the get-go, Obsidian Eagle immerses us in a universe seen through the lens of the mystic Kabbalah, mixed with elements of Egyptology and Persian Zoroastrianism. That is to say, the author has taken creative liberties in his fictionalized portrayal of various religious systems. Since it is a comedy the tone of the Codex is irreverent, yet at the same time, there is a certain amount of gravitas here that reminds the reader that a lot of truth is said in jest.
When asked about his motivation for writing this unconventional work of fiction, Obsidian Eagle answers:
"I regard Gnosticism and other religions closely related to it as part of humanity's spiritual heritage and I shudder to think that we might be at risk of losing them forever. That's why I've taken it upon myself to help out by popularizing these topics beyond the realm of academia, which tends only to reach the well educated members of society. Gnosis should be an option for everybody!"
This is probably why A Codex For Gnostics takes the form of an action-adventure narrative. And although it starts off sounding like High Fantasy, the genre itself changes between one act and another to Magical Realism and later on even Sci-Fi.
As a self-published writer operating outside the mainstream publishing industry, Obsidian Eagle's hands aren't tied when it comes to flexing an impressive vocabulary. Each and every word seems to be calculated for rhetorical effect. This particular author doesn't pull any punches – expecting readers to keep up with the brisk pace of his storytelling. Admittedly some of the names are quite difficult to pronounce but if you can see past that, a splendid tale full of riveting plot points and otherworldly characters will artfully unfold.
Perhaps one of the most salient features of the Codex is its referential nature. The requisite knowledge required to catch all those references contained within its pages ranges from pop culture trivia to branches of philosophy such as Semiotics. This truly is a book for people in-the-know. The linguistic acrobatics on display are unparalleled by contemporary writers in similar genres. It is evident that a great deal of research went into crafting this story. Especially because there's a Glossary of Recondite Terminology included as an appendix, and that is highly unusual at least insofar as the majority of fiction is concerned. In any case, there is a whole lot of reread value to be found in this brief but condensed book.
Obsidian Eagle's eccentric voice certainly isn't everyone's cup of tea. However, it definitely is a brave new voice that calls out for a more sophisticated readership, which may or may not yet exist. If you are looking for something thoroughly different from what is normally stocked on bookshelves then look no further – the Eagle has landed!
A Codex For Gnostics – Cosmic Comedy Writ In The Zone of Malkuth is available to order online via Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Chapters-Indigo. It also comes in eBook format on Kindle, Kobo, and Smashwords.